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Physics ± Uspekhi 57 (9) 877 ± 890 (2014) # 2014 Uspekhi Fizicheskikh Nauk, Russian Academy of Sciences FROM THE CURRENT LITERATURE PACS numbers: 28.52. ± s, 47.40.Nm, 52.50.Lp

On thermonuclear processes in cavitation bubbles

R I Nigmatulin, R T Lahey, Jr., R P Taleyarkhan, C D West, R C Block

DOI: 10.3367/UFNe.0184.201409b.0947


1. Introduction 877

2. Analysis of experiments 879

3. Analysis of some critical remarks on the experiments 881

4. Theoretical analysis of the supercompression of vapor bubbles 885

5. Analysis of some critical remarks on the theory

6. Conclusion


Abstract. The theoretical and experimental foundations of so- called bubble nuclear fusion are reviewed. In the nuclear fusion process, a spherical cavitation cluster 10 2 m in diameter is produced of spherical bubbles at the center of a cylindrical chamber filled with deuterated acetone using a focused acous- tic field having a resonant frequency of about 20 kHz. The acoustically-forced bubbles effectuate volume oscillations with sharp collapses during the compression stage. At the final stages of collapse, the bubble cluster emits 2.5 MeV D D fusion neutron pulses at a rate of 2000 per second. The neutron yield is 105 s 1. In parallel, tritium nuclei are produced at the same yield. It is shown numerically that, for bubbles having sufficient molecular mass, spherical shock waves develop in the center of the cluster and that these spherical shock waves (microshocks) produce converging shocks within the interior bubbles, which focus energy on the centers of the bubbles. When these shock waves reflect from the centers of the bub- bles, extreme conditions of temperature ( 108 K) and density ( 104 kg m 3) arise in a (nano)spherical region ( 10 7 m in size) that last for 10 12 s, during which time about ten D D fusion neutrons and tritium nuclei are produced in the region. A paradoxical result in our experiments is that it is bubble cluster (not streamer) cavitation and the sufficiently high molecular mass of (and hence the low sound speed in) D-acetone

R I Nigmatulin P P Shirshov Institute of Oceanology,

Russian Academy of Sciences,

Nakhimovskii prosp. 36, 117997 Moscow, Russian Federation E-mail:

R T Lahey, Jr., R C Block Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 110 8th Street, Troy, New York 12180-3590, USA


R P Taleyarkhan Purdue University,

400 Central Drive, W. Lafaette, IN 47907-1290, USA E-mail:

C D West 242 Joel Road, Oliver Springs, TN 37840, USA E-mail:

Received 30 December 2013, revised 24 March 2014 Uspekhi Fizicheskikh Nauk 184 (9) 947 ± 960 (2014) DOI: 10.3367/UFNr.0184.201409b.0947 Translated by the authors; edited by A Radzig

888 889 889

(C3D6O) vapor (as compared, for example, to deuterated water D2O) which are necessary conditions for the formation of convergent spherical microshock waves in central cluster bubbles. It is these waves that allow the energy to be suffi- ciently focused in the nanospherical regions near the bubble centers for fusion events to occur. The criticism to which the concept of `bubble fusion' has been subjected in the literature, in particular, most recently in Uspekhi Fizicheskikh Nauk (Phy- sics ± Uspekhi) journal, is discussed.

1. Introduction

The focusing (i.e., cumulation) of energy by the spherically symmetrical convergent flow of an inviscid and incompres- sible fluid around a spherical cavity (bubble), when the pressure in it is constant, notably zero, is described by the famous Rayleigh equation. E I Zababakhin (see monographs [1] and [2]) showed the influence of the viscosity and compressibility of the external fluid, which lowers the intensity of cumulation. However, if the driving pressure difference between that far away from the bubble and that in the bubble is large enough, they do not prevent an unlimited value of pressure in some zone close to the bubble interface (see also the well-known book by Ya B Zel'dovich and Yu P Raizer [3]). The limitation on the pressure rise is caused, first, by the gas (vapor) that always fills the bubble and brakes the convergent fluid and, second, by growing disturbances of the spherically symmetrical convergent flow and bubble distortion/break-up.

The strong compressibility of a substance needed for the realization of nuclear reactions by spherically symmetrical shock compression (i.e., implosion) of a spherical volume with a diameter of 1 m was extensively analyzed during the development of nuclear weapons. Later on, in the 1990s, such focusing of kinetic energy attracted attention in connection with paradoxes encountered in numerous experiments on bubble sonoluminescence [3±6]. In these experiments, tiny bubbles measuring about 10 mm in diameter were subjected to periodic compression and expansion using an acoustic field. At the end of implosive compression stage, very sharp compression occurred, and the diameter of the bubbles very quickly diminished to less than 1 mm. At this moment,

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